New SAE book tells Ramchargers story

New from SAE International, Dave Rockwell’s We Were the Ramchargers: Inside Drag Racing’s Legendary Team is the exclusive story behind the Ramchargers, a group of young Chrysler engineers who became one of the most influential drag racing teams in history.

Rockwell, a member of the original team, follows the Ramchargers from the 1950s to the 1970s, as they made their mark becoming the only team of engineers from an automobile manufacturer to drag race successfully,

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Chrysler receives $70 million grant

Reuters is reporting that Chrysler Group has been awarded a $70 million grant from the federal government as part of American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. The money will go Chrysler’s facilities in Warren, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri, “to develop, validate, and deploy 220 advanced plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans.”

Chrysler will also benefit from a $249 million grant awarded to A123 Systems.

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Chrysler Canada sales leap up without rebates

Chrysler Canada today announced sales of 15,958 units for the month of July 2009, an increase of 73% over June 2009 but a loss of around 10% when compared with July 2008. The gain was largely due to an increase in product availability and  consumer confidence. During the same month in 2008, the company sold 17,818 vehicles.

The Dodge Journey remains Canada’s top-selling crossover,

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Chrysler to cut incentives on selected models

Chrysler Group is cutting the incentives on some models because dealers were running low on them after the late July feeding frenzy driven by the “cash-for-clunkers” program. The automaker is also dropping the “Double Your CA$H for Your Old Car” advertising message due to uncertainty about the continuance of the government incentive program.

The new advertising campaign will be called Summer Clearance. According to spokeswoman Kathy Graham, Chrysler is “focusing around product if Cash for Clunkers doesn’t stay.”

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Chrysler July sales down 9.3% but well ahead of June

Five vehicles set new monthly sales records for July; Jeep Patriot sales increased 134% compared with previous year, Dodge Caliber sales were up 63% versus July 2008, PT Cruiser sales were up 24% compared with previous year, and Mopar posted a U.S. sales increase of 9% compared with June 2009
Chrysler Group LLC today reported a 30% sales increase compared with June 2009. Consumer traffic in Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealerships more than doubled the last week in July compared with the same time period in 2008. Read the full story: Chrysler July sales down 9.3% but well ahead of June  »

New plant heads named

New plant heads are:

  • Brampton: Kevin Hayes
  • Sterling Heights: Joseph Ozdowy
  • Jefferson North: Patrick Walsh
  • Toluca Body-in-White and Stamping: Carlos Rivera
  • Sterling Stamping: Robert Seabolt
  • Warren Stamping: Lance Schwartz

Other changes include:

  • James McBride was appointed Head of Central Planning and Investment Control of Powertrain Operations
  • Donald Dekeyser was appointed Head of the Trenton (Mich.) South Engine Plant.

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Chrysler to turbocharge Fiat engine?

According to the Freep, Chrysler may be planning to turbocharge a Fiat 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine to produce more torque than the company’s current 3.8 liter V6. The engine would receive direct injection and a Borg Warner turbocharger; in the Lancia Delta hatchback, it has been capable of 30 mpg.

The current Dundee plant, according to the Freep, is slated to build Fiat engines, presumably replacing the current and much-criticized World Engines.

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Chrysler incentives drive showroom traffic

Chrysler Group’s latest incentive program looks like it could be the most successful since its first employee pricing program four years ago.

The “Double Ca$h for Your Old Car” plan gives customers as much as $9,000 toward a qualifying new Chrysler Group vehicle. Half the money comes from the federal government’s “cash-for-guzzlers” program, the other half is matching cash from Chrysler.

Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham said 70 percent of the customers visiting Chrysler,

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